Hi, I have cut a few cabs out of silicon, chief thing with it is it is
so brittle. Anything other than a well rounded edge will literally
start to flake off in your fingers (rather sharp shards too!). I don’t
know how well it would grind thin - the wafers for chips should work
though. I got my material when I was visiting the San Fran area -
there is a rock shop in Mountain View Ca. called Gems Galore - 982 El
Monte Ave. 650 968-8707 that sells silicon by the boule, hunk, or
wafer (even the carrying racks!). If you are really lucky they will
sell you a map to the mine up in the hills ; ) - the legendary lost
mine of Silicon Valley!
It does take a nice polish but it is very messy to grind (black goopy
residue) so don’t wear your white clothes.
A down and dirty way to silver the back of a stone is to use silver
automotive touch up paint in a spray can. Another method I have seen
is to polish a piece of silver sheet and epoxy it to the back. I don’t
treat stones this way but if it is your thing it does work.
Island Gem and Rock